"Fish are friends, not food"

Embargoed until: Publicly released:

It's not quite vegetarian, like Bruce from Finding Nemo, but US researchers claim that the bonnethead shark, a small relative of the hammerhead, is the first known omnivorous shark. The coastal bonnethead shark, which was previously thought to be solely carnivorous, has been spotted numerous times eating seagrass, with up to 60 per cent of their guts full of plant material. The study authors were unsure if the shark could actually digest the seagrass, but they found enzymes in the shark's hindguts that mean they are capable of digesting seagrass with similar effectiveness to juvenile green sea turtles and better at digesting plant material than pandas.

Journal/conference: Proceedings of the Royal Society B

DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.1583

Organisation/s: University of California-Irvine, USA | Florida International University, USA


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